History of Sex in Cinema:
The Greatest and Most Influential
Sexual Films and Scenes

(Illustrated)

1970



The History of Sex in Cinema
Backwoods Sexploitational Films - Early 1970s

A number of low-budget, backwoods sexploitational films were produced in the early to mid-1970s, offering fairly explicit soft-core escapades with hillbilly characters, incest, lots of nudity (male and female genitals, although with no real closeups, penetration, or erections) and sex in the great outdoors, and an emphasis on stereotypical Southern accents and sensibilities.

The most common of these types of trashy, low-budget, drive-in favorites with poor acting were produced by sleaze-merchant Harry Novak. They were sometimes labeled "corn-porn" - characterized by tongue-in-cheek humor, lots of casual nudity and lengthy sex scenes.

Title Screens
Featuring

Country Cuzzins (1970)
Billie Jo Peabody (Rene Bond)

Tobacco Roody (1970)

Tootie (Dixie Donovan)

Danielle (Maxine DeVille France)

Midnite Plowboy (1971)

Sally (Cristy Anna)

Bernice (Debbie Osborne)

Southern Comforts (1971)

Brenda (Judy Angel)

Carol (Monica Gayle)

The Pig Keeper's Daughter (1972)

See later full description (1972 films)


Ma Molly Swiner (Gina Paluzzi)

Moonbeam Swiner (Terry Gibson)

Sassy Sue (1972)

Dottie Lee (Tallie Cochrane)

Dolly Lou (Sharon Kelly)

Sweet Georgia (1972)

Georgia (Marsha Jordan)

Country Hooker (1974)

Sue (Rene Bond)

Honey (Maria Arnold)
Title Screens
Movie Title/Year and Film/Scene Description
Screenshots

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970)

This was the first studio film of successful independent 'nudie-cutie' king Russ Meyer who was the sexist, exploitative director of Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill!! (1965) and VIXEN! (1968). It was co-written by film critic Roger Ebert as an unofficial sequel to Fox's Valley of the Dolls (1967) - based upon Jacqueline Susann's trashy novel.

Rated X originally (but re-rated as NC-17 in 1990), this T & A exploitation spoof film was made for a $1 million budget, but grossing $40 million overall. The cult melodrama, with a twisted plot filled with sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll, was one of the most successful 20th Century Fox films ever made.

Members of The Carrie Nations Band
Kelly MacNamara
(former Playboy Playmate
Dolly Read)
Casey Anderson
(former Playboy Playmate
Cynthia Myers)
Petronella "Pet" Danforth
(Marcia McBroom)

It told about an uninhibited group of hick girls in a rock trio, dubbed The Kelly Affair and renamed The Carrie Nations (Dolly Read, Cynthia Myers, and Marcia McBroom - in her movie debut) who journeyed to Hollywood to make it big.

There, they found orgiastic sex, bondage, gays and gigolos, lesbianism, drugs, a bizarre record promoter and murder. Many scenes contained ridiculous yet sexy dialogue, such as porn star Ashley St. Ives's (Edy Williams) invitation: "You're a groovy boy. I'd like to strap you on sometime."


Girl-in-Tub
(Angel Ray)


Fashion Model
(Susan Reed)


Kelly
(Dolly Reed)


Cynthia
(Samantha Scott)

The Boys in the Band (1970)

This milestone film from director William Friedkin (an adaptation of Mart Crowley's off-Broadway 1968 stage play, with the original stage actors) was notable as being the first Hollywood feature film to examine the homosexual culture and community in close-up fashion, and to portray gays as human beings who could have a sense of camaraderie.

It was rated R by the usually ultra-conservative MPAA (when the previous year's Midnight Cowboy (1969) and The Killing of Sister George (1969) received X-ratings) for its subject matter and for its bold language. However, symbolic of its times, it also included some gay stereotypes and images, and negativity.

Set in the late 1960s, it told about a gay birthday party (held for Harold (Leonard Frey)) in an Upper East Side apartment among some miserable and bitchy individuals that turned confessional and vindictive as the night wore on. It especially became uncomfortable after the arrival of host Michael's married straight (heterosexual) friend/college roommate, lawyer Alan McCarthy (Peter White). The six homosexuals at the party included:

  • Donald (Frederick Combs), an "underachiever," in therapy
  • Michael (Kenneth Nelson), a Catholic and recovering alcoholic
  • Emory (Cliff Gorman), flamboyant, queenish, interior decorator
  • Hank (Laurence Luckinbill), a soon-to-be-divorced schoolteacher and Larry (Keith Prentice), a fashion photographer, both lovers
  • Bernard (Reuben Greene), African-American, bookstore clerk

Conversations were often coarse and abrasive. While preparing for the party as Donald was showering, Michael sang:

Michael: (singing) "'Forget your troubles, c'mon get happy! You better chase all your cares away!' What's more boring than a queen doing a Judy Garland imitation?"
Donald: "A queen doing a Bette Davis imitation."

Michael (looking into a mirror): "Well, there's one thing to be said for masturbation: you certainly don't have to look your best."

During the early stages of the party, Michael told Donald: "Donald, you are a real card carrying cunt." Emory bluntly asked: "So, who do you have to f--k to get a drink around here?" Cowboy Tex (Robert La Tourneaux) arrived at the door - a male hustler hired by Emory as a birthday "gift" for Harold. When Harold came late and was reprimanded by Michael, he replied:

"What I am, Michael, is a 32 year-old, ugly, pock-marked Jew fairy, and if it takes me a while to pull myself together, and if I smoke a little grass before I get up the nerve to show my face to the world, it's nobody's god-damned business but my own. And how are you this evening?"

They also played a game in which they each telephoned their most loved one - revealing many past anxieties and issues. Michael accused Alan of being a "closeted" homosexual who had at one time spurned homosexual advances from male college friend Justin Stewart. The film ended with a devastating attack on Michael by Harold, who characterized him as an unhappy homosexual - forever. In the climactic searing scene with self-deprecating humor before he left, Harold attacked Michael:

"And ready or not, Michael, here goes. You're a sad and pathetic man. You're a homosexual and you don't want to be, but there's nothing you can do to change it, not all your prayers to your God, not all the analysis you can buy in all the years you've got left to live. You may very well one day be able to know a heterosexual life if you want it desperately enough, if you pursue it with the fervor with which you annihilate, but you'll always be homosexual as well, always Michael, always, until the day you die."

Michael fell apart and collapsed in Donald's arms.



Michael
(Kenneth Nelson)


Donald
(Frederick Combs)


Dancing to "Heat Wave"

Harold
(Leonard Frey)


Alan McCarthy
(Peter White)

Catch-22 (1970)

Direction Mike Nichols' anti-war comedy, an adaptation of Joseph Heller's anti-establishment 1961 first novel, was an autobiographical novel about a bomber squadron and its pilots in WW-II Italy on a Mediterranean island:

  • Captain Yossarian (Alan Arkin), one of the neurotic B-52 bomber pilots, trapped by 'catch-22' logic

    ("Let me see if I've got this straight: in order to be grounded, I've got to be crazy and I must be crazy to keep flying. But if I ask to be grounded, that means I'm not crazy any more and I have to keep flying")

The film was daring in many aspects, none the least for its on-screen nudity (a major thing in the early 70s).

  • WAC Nurse Duckett (Paula Prentiss) was nude in a full-frontal dream sequence distantly seen on a dock; she opened up her full-length white robe, tossed it into the water, and waved at Yossarian (who was struggling to swim toward her)
  • Luciana (Olimpia Carlisi) reclined naked in bed after having sex with Yossarian; when he asked her: "Where do you work?", she thought he was calling her a whore; when she told him that she worked for a "big American company," he replied: "Me too," and complimented her about being "perfect"

Nurse Duckett
(Paula Prentiss)


Luciana
(Olimpia Carlisi)

Censorship in Denmark: A New Approach (1970) (Pornography in Denmark: A New Approach, or Denmark Without Censorship)

A wave of imported X-rated 'pornography' films were beginning to invade the US from Europe in the late 1960s, heralded by the arrival of I Am Curious (Yellow) (1967, Swe.) after the Supreme Court ruled in 1969 that the film's depiction of sexual intercourse was not obscene. It became one of the first films to show hard-core sex in American cinemas.

Censorship in Denmark: A New Approach (1970) was a full-length (90 minute), exploitational X-rated feature film from San Francisco's hardcore pioneer producer/director Alex de Renzy (in his directorial debut) was the first successful mainstream film widely distributed with pornography in it and shown in a commercial theatre. Along with other films, it was one of the first widely-released films to show non-simulated hard-core sex on the American screen. And it was the first film with hard-core sex to be reviewed by critic Vincent Canby of The New York Times.

A skin-flick producer, de Renzy joined many others on a trek to Copenhagen, Denmark to attend a sex trade show exhibition known as SEX '69. During his sojourn, he brought along his camera. Theatres in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles projected the film. A 90-minute version screened in San Francisco at de Renzy's own Screening Room theater and at a larger venue in the Marina district was busted, but the theatre wasn't closed. The film was more directly prosecuted when it played in a local New Jersey venue, where theatre managers were arrested and prints were confiscated. Although it ran into trouble, it also made $800,000.

De Renzy's film was vaguely disguised or masqueraded as a serious or educational 'documentary' look (with redeeming social importance and value) at how Denmark became the first country to legalize hard-core pornography in 1969. De Renzy made the wry comment: "Those who expected Denmark to become a country of rapists were pleasantly disappointed."

De Renzy served as the film's main man-on-the-street interviewer during the travelogue, who spoke to a handful of interviewees, including an un-self-conscious 18 year-old adult-magazine porn model named Toni (as Herself). He also visited an international trade show or porn expo titled Sex '69, other porn cinemas, sex clubs and adult shops (including a live lesbian nightclub sex show titled "Olga and Her Sex Circus"), the set of a Danish hard-core film, and the home of a couple in the sex-film business. The narrator's comments were almost humorous: "Making a pornographic film can raise a sharp appetite! Here the staff and the film stars interrupt the film’s work to have open-faced sandwiches and coffee!" However, he noted about the porn films: "Emotional relationships between the characters are nonexistent."

Some of the film's most explicit and forbidden hard-core content came from de Renzy's filming of sex sequences straight from a screening, as a way to argue that the sex scenes were objectified, documented accounts of the way sex was being regarded in Denmark.

(Russ Meyer's) Cherry, Harry & Raquel! (1970)

This Russ Meyer classic exploitation film was his last independent movie before 20th Century Fox lured him to Hollywood, to make his next film, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970). The trailer described its exciting premise, with "hot cars, blazing guns and beautiful women."

It was another bosomania action tale of sex-crazed individuals in an Arizona-Mexico border town, featuring a corrupt sheriff (Charles Napier as Harry), drug-dealing and pot smuggling, shoot-outs, beatings and car-crashes. Harry's crime partner was the powerful but bed-ridden Mr. Franklin (Franklin H. Bolger). It was also noted, typical for a Meyer fantasy erotic film, for its love triangle between Harry, Cherry, and Raquel, including lesbianism.

The female characters were:

  • Cherry (Linda Ashton), a buxom British nurse, town sheriff Harry's girlfriend
  • Raquel (Larissa Ely), a big-breasted blonde prostitute employed by Mr. Franklin
  • Millie (Michelle Grand), an African-American

Statuesque and well-endowed Uschi Digard (aka Astrid Lillimoor) also starred as the German-speaking Native American ghost Soul, who posed nude against various desert locations, sometimes with an Apache feather headdress.

Soul (Uschi Digard) in Abstract Scenes
Unrelated to the Film's Plot



Cherry
(Linda Ashton)



Raquel
(Larissa Ely)


Millie
(Michelle Grand)

The Christine Jorgensen Story (1970)

Veteran Hollywood director Irving Rapper's campy biopic released by United Artists, was adapted for the screen from a best-selling, late 60s autobiographical account.

It was Hollywood's first attempt at exploring transgender issues - yet the dated and fictionalized film (although respectful) contained howlingly bad acting, dialogue, and writing. The poster proclaimed - "I couldn't live in a man's body!" and "Did the surgeon's knife make me a woman or a freak?"

The overwrought and melodramatic film told about an effeminate, introverted young boy who enjoyed dolls and "sissy" things, George Jorgensen Jr. (John Hansen). After growing up and serving as a GI, he worked as an ad agency's professional photographer, where he was nearly raped by his predatory gay boss Jess Warner (Rod McCary). After researching gender issues and sex disorders in a New York library, and speaking to sex researcher Professor Estabrook (Will Kuluva), George realized that he had a hormonal imbalance. He arranged for a radical, new surgical procedure with Dr. Victor Dahlman (Oscar Beregi) in a Denmark clinic (his homeland) in the early 1950s.

George became blonde beauty Christine Jorgensen, one of the earliest surgically-altered transsexuals ("The First Man to Become a Woman" the film falsely implied) with sex reassignment surgery.

In one post-surgical shot, there was a view of Christine's hormonely-enhanced, developing breasts. A reporter named Tom Crawford that became Christine's love interest was invented for the movie.




George/Christine
Jorgensen, Jr.
(John Hansen)

El Topo (1970, Mex.)

Director/star Alejandro Jodorowsky's self-conscious, surrealistic, often incoherent and incomprehensible, unique and avant-garde El Topo (translated "the Mole"), a gory (and spiritual) "spaghetti" western and first 'midnight movie' cult film, told the story of the existential quest of a black-clad, violent gunfighting title character (the director himself).

The film opened with El Topo riding in the Mexican desert with his naked son (Brontis Jodorowsky) on the saddle in front of him. He had his son bury artifacts - his mother's picture and his favorite childhood stuffed animal, in order to become a man and take his father's place.

In the startling opening sequence, they found the bloody remains of a town massacre where animals were gutted and people were decimated, leaving a river of blood. When threatened by three crazed evil-doer bandits, El Topo quickly dispatched with them, and then sought further vengeance in a mission town against the fat, balding (with a toupee), pasty-faced but vicious and sadistic Colonel (David Silva) and his outlaw gang. After castrating the Colonel (who then committed suicide) and executing his men, El Topo rescued the man's terrorized concubine-slave Mara (Mara Lorenzio) and rode off with her, while leaving his naked son in the care of monks.

The freed Mara (meaning "bitter water") accompanied him on his journey into the desert. Their trip included a notable rape scene between El Topo and Mara in which he tore off her clothes and forced himself upon her. He sexually imparted to her the ability to find eggs in the sand and bring water from a rock. In a symbolic scene, she touched a phallic-shaped rock that ejaculated forth life-giving water - and then hugged it.

She convinced him that for her to best love him, he had to prove himself by journeying onward to defeat and kill the "four great gun masters" who lived in the desert. After killing the first master (a holy man) through a bit of cheating, El Topo and Mara were joined by another 'Woman in Black' (Paula Romo), a whip-cracking bi-sexual gunslinger (speaking in a man's voice) at an oasis, possibly signifying El Topo's feminine side.

Bathing in an Oasis: Mara (Mara Lorenzio)
with the 'Woman in Black' (Paula Romo)

The two women bathed naked together, and El Topo made love to Mara while buried in the sand, and afterwards shot the mirror that she was often viewing herself in. [The self-important director later dubiously claimed - for publicity's sake - that the sex scenes were deliberately real.]

In the other three duels with masters, El Topo defeated each of them with more mystical trickery - and luck. After killing the third master (a rabbit man), he rubbed blood onto Mara's breasts to signify his victory. But with the demise of all four adversaries and after acquiring their wisdom, he believed he was contaminated: "I am laid low in the dust of death. My God, why hast thou forsaken me. Why are You so far from saving me, from heeding my groans?" He was betrayed by the 'Woman in Black' when she wounded him - shooting him four times through both his hands and feet (a crucifixion-passion-stigmata symbol). Mara also chose to shoot El Topo in the side to finish him off, and he was left for dead, while the two women became lovers and rode off together.

In this second part of the film, El Topo's comatose body was found by a group of small-statured deformed cripples, and taken into their subterranean home inside a mountain, where they slept in stacked barrels and were led by an old woman. After he awoke from a long sleep, he realized they were a strange and "repulsive" outcast colony of mis-shapen underground people (due to "continuous incest"), who were worshipping him as a god and savior, believing he would free them from their imprisoned state. He took one of the "small" women (Jacqueline Luis) as his lover, and as an act of atonement, promised to free the exiled cave-dwellers by helping them dig an escape tunnel out of the cave. Depraved and weird religious cultists from the neighboring western town were led by outlaws and sex-starved and degenerate matriarchal women. The female leaders were hypocritical members of the Decent Women League who demanded sex from slaves and then had them executed for rape. They brutalized and enslaved white-clad townsfolk. They branded them like cattle with a symbol - an eye within a triangle.

El Topo appeared to have found enlightenment and holy "sainthood" and was born again - he shaved his head and dressed in peasant or Buddhist monk garb, and became a pacifist servant-beggar. He provided street entertainment and performed menial tasks to earn money from the villagers. He discovered that his son was now grown-up (Robert John) and had become a religious figure in the village, but was disillusioned by the cultists and began to dress in his father's black-clad gunfighter outfit.

In the frontier town, worshippers played Russian roulette with a gun as a means to produce "miracles" until a young boy was killed. When the underground people exited the tunnel into sunlight and entered the town, they were slaughtered by the cultists. Invincible to their gunblasts, El Topo approached the killers to retaliate, grabbed a rifle, and in a flurry of gunfire shot all of the clan members, and then immolated himself in the dusty street. Survivors of the bloodbath massacre included El Topo's grown son and his dwarf girlfriend (and a child born to her at the same time as El Topo's death). They constructed a swarming beehive grave for El Topo's remains. The film ended as El Topo's son, the child, and the dwarf female rode off on the horse into the desert, mirroring the scenes in the film's opening.

In other sex-related scenes, a fringe-jacketed bandit laid on top of a rock sculpture of a naked woman that he had just drawn, the 'Woman in Black' suggestively stroked and then licked a piece of sliced-open green cactus fruit before grabbing Mara for an unwanted lesbian kiss, and after seriously wounding El Topo the two traitorous women again kissed and made love. In the film's most bizarre and decadent scene, El Topo and his dwarf lover were taken to the village's saloon where in a trap-doored underground sex cantina, they were forced to strip and re-enact their wedding night in front of a group of voyeuristic degenerates.

Unusual Images in El Topo
 


El Topo
(Alejandro Jodorowsky)








Mara
(Mara Lorenzio)

Electrosex 1975 (1970)

Mike Henderson's hard-core, one hour-long, crude black and white adult feature was the first pornographic film to be advertised in New York's newspapers.

The film began with Paul (Mike Henderson), a slightly balding middle-aged man, in his apartment where he was joined by his male friend Jim (male porn star Tommy Toole). Paul bragged about creating the perfect woman - in fact, three female sex robots. In the opening scene, the three were marched into the living room, all completely naked, perfectly shaped (and with tan-lines):

  • Alpha (Pamala Westcott)
  • Gamma (Linda Wroom)
  • Delta (Cheri Rostand)

Then, an all-out orgy basically commenced. Immediately, two of the three women began making love to each other, and were soon in a '69' position. The third robot Delta was taken into an adjoining bedroom by Jim, where they began to have sex on the bed. Meanwhile back in the living room, Paul joined the two females. Eventually, everyone drifted back into the living room, where there was a brief session of S & M (whipping).

Sex between the threesome (and with the two men) resumed, with explicit shots of ejaculation, intercourse, and oral sex for both sexes. When Jim complained that he was becoming sex-exhausted ("I don't know how much more of this I can take. I feel like my balls are gonna drop off"), Paul ordered his sex robots: "OK. Stop. All right, goddamn it. Stop! Deprogram. Stop!" One of the robots replied: "No, we won't stop! You made us like sex. You made us that way." Jim begged some more: "You gotta make 'em stop. I don't know how much more of this I can take."

There was a failed attempt to manually stop one of the robots by touching the On/Off button behind its ear. The robot retorted: "You cannot stop us. You will never be able to keep us from loving. We will f--k you always!" The film abruptly ended with Jim's male member being chewed up due to over-manipulation and stimulation, and Paul appeared to bloodily die of the same fate (was his penis bitten off?).


The Three Sex Robots

Alpha and Gamma With Paul

Jim with Delta

He & She (1970)

Director Matt Cimber's adult film from New World Productions was another of this time period's sex documentaries. It was noted as the first hard-core porn film to get national distribution.

The sex film introduced a fake doctor and a "sex research institute." It began with a long scrolling preface from the producers, partly excerpted here, that meant to describe how the film would "open new avenues of learning":

Each person seeks fulfillment. He seeks it with the senses of sight, sound, touch, taste and odor. It is in sexual intercourse that he can experience all of them - each in turn or simultaneously. That is why foreplay (all love-making before the culmination in orgasm) is equally as important as the orgasm itself. "Preliminary love-play should be gracefully and artfully conducted." Frank S. Caprio, M.D. "In making love there should be no haste." Ovid.

In the film (while a sex education professional narrated), an attractive young married couple were seen in various locales, including a circular bed and a shower. The narrator described different techniques of sexual stimulation, in a fairly clinical way, while the camera focused on the couple's nude bodies. Intercut were various montages of the couple strolling on a street's sidewalk or running through a field.

The two were mostly demonstrating the art of lovemaking (seen in explicit close-up) and foreplay (with sensitive kissing and touching, rubbing and massaging, mutual masturbation, and oral sex), and eventually engaged in actual intercourse.

Their final orgasmic moments (as the film ended) were accompanied by lots of traditional symbols, including surging ocean waves, flames, a phallic-shaped rocket blasting off, and bursts of fireworks.




A History of the Blue Movie (1970)

Director Alex de Renzy's follow-up film to Pornography in Denmark (1970) (see below) was the quasi-historical two hour and twenty minute A History of the Blue Movie (1970). The porn film was designed to include copious amounts of sex and nudity while circumventing obscenity laws.

It was an evolutionary survey of pornography with rare vintage erotica from the silent era ("blue movies" or stag films), to peep shows (and burlesque), and then the modern day sex industry (with self-serving footage of de Renzy's own blue films). The historical overview included scenes from films dating from 1915 to 1970:

  • A Free Ride (1915)
  • On the Beach (1920) (aka The Goat Man (1923))
  • Buried Treasure (aka Eveready Harton in Buried Treasure) (1928/29), vintage, animated (first adult cartoon?)
  • The Janitor (aka Creeping Tom)
  • The Nun Story (aka The None Story, or College Co-ed), 1950s stag film
  • Smart Alec (1951) (aka Smart Aleck), X-rated, underground, silent 20-minute film (love-making in a Texas motel room) with unidentified male and stripper, dancer and model Candy Barr (known as underaged, 16 year-old Juanita Dale Slusher) - one of the earliest (if not the first) porn film stars
  • The Masseuse
A History of the Blue Movie (1970) - Excerpts
The Nun Story (1950s)
Smart Alec (1951)
The Masseuse
Nude Interviewee
(Bonnie Holiday)

The film concluded with a Berkeley, California hippie couple artistically filmed making love during auditioning.


A Free Ride (1915)

Ever Ready (1928/29)

Creeping Tom

M*A*S*H (1970)

This macabre, black-humored, anti-war comedy by director Robert Altman (originally rated X, but reduced to an R rating) was one of the first films to use the F-word (in the football game scene, in which "Painless" (John Schuck) said: "All right, Bub, your f--kin' head is coming right off"), and among the first to feature brief full nudity.

A prank was planned by the members of a free-wheeling camp on uptight chief nurse Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan (Sally Kellerman). It was part of a $20 bet to discover whether she was a natural blonde or not ("I'll bet she's not a real blonde"). They pulled away the front tent flap of her shower stall and exposed her to an audience of jeering spectators ("What a performance!"). She hurried to bitterly complain to the commanding Col. Blake: "This isn't a hospital. It's an insane asylum. And it's your fault because you don't do anything to discourage them."

Earlier, they had broadcast her love-making tryst on loudspeakers with hypocritical tee-totaler Major 'Frank' Burns (Robert Duvall), when she deservedly earned the nickname "Hot Lips":

Hot Lips: "We've grown very close in a short time." (She unbuttoned her blouse)
Frank: "It isn't just chance. I'm sure of that. God meant us to find each other."
Hot Lips: (She flashed her breasts to him) "His will be done."

As he hungrily was atop her and undressing and they began making love (in the dark), she cried out:

Hot Lips: "Oh, Frank. Let me get it. I'll help you. Oh, yes."
Frank: "Get my zipper. My zipper..."
Hot Lips: (groaning) "Oh, oh Frank...Oo, Frank...Oh, Frank. Oh, Frank, my lips are hot. Kiss my hot lips."
Frank: "Yes, they are hot."
Hot Lips: "Oh, Frank, yes."
Frank: "Darling."
Hot Lips: "Oh, Frank! Oh, Frank! Strangle me. Hard! Frank...Oh, yes. Ohh!...Oh, Major. Frank."



"Hot Lips" Houlihan
(Sally Kellerman)



Mona: The Virgin Nymph (1970)

Porn pioneer Bill Osco's film was remarkable as the first, theatrically-released, feature-length 35mm 100% hardcore narrative film with an actual storyline -- actually a threadbare plot (accompanied by explicit sex scenes) that created the pattern for future porn films of the 70s. However, there was competition for attaining the landmark milestone with Andy Warhol's Blue Movie (1969).

This film's storyline was borrowed, to some degree, by Gerard Damiano's Deep Throat (1972) - which was NOT the first theatrically-released porno.

This 'porno chic' movie was screened without cast or production credits (to avoid legal problems). It was shot in three days on a budget of about $5,000. Remarkably, it played in major US cities (San Francisco and New York) and was not banned or shut down.

The prurient film opened with the title character - Mona (Fifi Watson), an engaged girl, in the great outdoors during a picnic with her fiancee Jim (Orrin North). After they both stripped down and began to make love to each other, she halted him by claiming that she had promised her nefarious widowed mother (Judy Angel) that she wouldn't have intercourse until marriage. She vowed that she would be a virgin on her wedding day - meaning no explicit penile-vaginal penetration (except that everything else, including oral sex, was permissible). She joyfully performed fellatio on Tim on their blanket, however. She told him: "Here, let me do that other thing to ya. I know, it always makes you feel so good." At the moment she began administering sex, there was a second title screen with a blast from an organ - adding the word "NYMPH" to the first title screen shown earlier ("MONA THE VIRGIN"). She was indeed a 'nympho virgin.'

Mona had been initiated into oral sex by her father (his strange intention was to preserve her virginity for her future husband).

She came up to a young male stranger on a street corner and blatantly asked "Do you want me to suck your cock? I'm good, really good." He was skeptical until she led him to a side alley and pleasured him: "You just relax, let your Mona do the work." She boasted: "I think you'll enjoy it...I think I'm going to enjoy this too...I just love sucking cock." Afterwards, Mona also had cunnilingus performed on her (and engaged in 69) with a blonde prostitute (Susan Stewart).

The insatiable Mona then touched herself in a movie theatre before providing more oral sex to a nearby male patron (Gerard Broulard) in an aisle seat ("You get two treats for the price of one this evening"). At the same time, Mona's self-pleasuring, garter-belted, bespectacled mother (who liked to read dirty novels while touching herself and using a sex toy vibrator) invited in her future son-in-law who was looking for Mona. After telling him she hadn't had sex for three years, she offered to have passionate sex with him by hinting: "You remind me so much of Mona's father! Just like I had my own young man back again when I was a girl."

The film ended with mother and daughter confessing to their full-on sexual indiscretions. When Jim found out about Mona's other partners, he tied Mona down on a bed, and all of her previous partners surrounded her and engaged in a very excessive, up-close-and-personal oral sex-party.



Mona (Fifi Watson) with Fiancee Jim

Mona's Mother (Judy Angel)

Concluding Oral Sex-Party

The Music Lovers (1970, UK)

Ken Russell's fourth feature film was the bizarre and excessive musical biography of the life of 19th century Russian piano teacher/composer Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky - a homosexual (portrayed by a sexually-conflicted Hollywood actor, Richard Chamberlain, who came out of the closet in 2003). Other Russell music-themed films included: The Boy Friend (1971), Mahler (1974), Tommy (1974) and Lisztomania (1975).

In the opening sequence of this surrealistic fever-dream of a movie with numerous musical montages, Russell introduced all of the main characters (in the composer's present and future). Drunken homosexual Tchaikovsky (Richard Chamberlain) and his lover Count Anton Chiluvsky (Christopher Gable) joyously raced up and down an icy toboggan slide run during a Moscow winter carnival, to the accompaniment of "Dance of the Clowns" from The Nutcracker Suite. Afterwards, the two inebriated men jumped into bed together.

Nearby, where Russian soldiers paraded on horseback, young conservatory music student Antonina Milyukova (aka Nina) (Glenda Jackson) (Tchaikovsky's future sex-crazed wife) watched and became infatuated (with a manufactured wild fantasy in her head) with one of the mounted lieutenants (Ben Aris), whom she later invited to her place where she was sexually ravaged.

In the next sequence, many of the characters then reassembled at the Moscow Conservatory, where Tchaikovsky debuted his Piano Concerto No.1 in B-flat Minor, including many of Tchaikovsky's "loves" - his music, and other characters including Tchaikovsky's semi-incestuous sister Sasha (Sabina Maydelle) and his widowed, wealthy art patron/benefactress Madame Nadedja von Meck (Izabella Telezynska).

The main focus of the biopic was Tchaikovsky's struggle with his own repressed sexuality. The self-denying musician chose to engage in a disastrous marriage of conformity and convenience to admirer Nina - to counteract and deflect damaging rumors. He impulsively married her after receiving a crazed love letter in which she threatened to kill herself: ("You were frank with me and I owe you a similar frankness. My first kiss will be yours and no one else's. I can't go on without you so it maybe that I'll soon put an end to my life. Let me look at you at least once and kiss you, so that I may take that kiss with me into the other world").

Director Russell also engaged in fantastic imagery, including a traumatic flashback scene as a young boy, triggered when Tchaikovsky confused a bathing female with his mother Martha (Consuela Chapman), who succumbed in a scalding hot bathtub from cholera. And in his first meeting with Nina, Tchaikovsky envisioned her as his sister.

His homosexual lover Count Anton suggestively stroked a phallic-shaped bottleneck, and later cautioned against the marriage: "Not all women are satisfied with spiritual relationships."

In one of the most controversial sequences, their overnight train journey to Moscow of unrequited love, honeymooning Nina exhibited her alcohol-fueled, voracious (nymphomaniacal) sex drive by kissing him and stripping off her many layers of clothes. At one point, she lifted up her red garment three times to have him look at her genitals. The newly-wed couple were encased in a cramped sleeping compartment, and as the car violently heaved back and forth, the drunken, nude, and semi-unconscious Nina rolled and flailed around on the carpeted floor. The repulsed composer reacted with bug-eyed horror to her full-frontal nakedness.

Overnight Train-Ride to Moscow

In the impressionistic "1812 Overture" fantasy sequence, Tchaikovsky had fled from his family and friends, and was mobbed by admirers led by his brother Modeste (Kenneth Colley), who was envisioned as an impresario. As colored streamers descended and he was draped in garlands of flowers, Tchaikovsky was carried forward in a parade, where he conducted before crowds and was ultimately transformed into a bronze statue. Modeste blasted a phallic-shaped cannon and blew the heads off various enemies ("music lovers") his brother wished to escape - except for Nina.

Tchaikovsky Garlanded and Immortalized
Modeste Firing Cannon

In the final sequence, Nina's ultimate fate was neglect, promiscuity, and commitment within a mental asylum. There with shorn hair, she bragged to her mother:

"He's never loved another woman, has he, mother? No one else. But I, but I have so many lovers, so many lovers, so many, so many, so many, so many! See how many lovers, mother! See how many, how many, how many..."

Nina allowed herself to be abused and fondled by other lunatic male patients, as she sat over an open grating. Her mother was aghast: "Oh, no, no. Don't! Nina! Oh, no! Poor baby."

The film ended with Nina's imprisonment in a strait-jacket while locked in a room with bars, while Tchaikovsky suffered a painful, delirious death from cholera like his mother (he was also submerged in a bath of scalding water against his will) - a self-inflicted disease, the result of drinking infected water.


Tchaikovsky and Count Anton

Stroking a Phallic-Shaped Bottleneck

Tchaikovsky and Sasha



Nina


Death of Tchaikovsky's Mother

Corset-Removal and Horrifying View of Nina's Genitals

Nina Being Pleasured in Mental Asylum

Tchaikovsky's Death From Cholera

(Gore Vidal's) Myra Breckinridge (1970)

20th Century Fox's film was one of the biggest bombs ever made. Originally rated X, it was the cinematic adaptation of Gore Vidal's 1968 notorious story about a man-hating trans-sexual Myron (Rex Reed), then re-named Myra Breckinridge (Raquel Welch) in Hollywood.

It included the infamous scene of a sham physical exam (and dildo rape!) conducted by star-spangled pattern-wearing Myra on hapless de-pantsed patient and young Hollywood acting student Rusty Godowsky (Roger Herren) - she told her subject as she put on a large strap-on dildo:

"I shall ball you, Rusty...I won't kill you Rusty, I'll just educate you, you and the rest of America. Must be demonstrated to you practically, that there is no such thing as manhood. It died with Burt Lancaster in Vera Cruz. Your manhood was taken by Errol Flynn and Clark Gable! I am only going to supply you with the finishing touches."

The outrageous scene was complete with intercut shots of various stars (Gary Cooper, Marilyn Monroe - in her famous pin-up pose, Clark Gable, etc.), bucking broncho-riding, the assault of a fortress with a large wooden battering ram, clips from a Laurel and Hardy film, a shot of the Hoover Dam collapsing, an image of Myra on a flowery swing spouting: "Hooray for Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. Uncle Sam, here I come," the cresting over the top of a roller-coaster, the tune "Love is a Many Splendored Thing", and an H-bomb explosion.

The story also featured an aging 77 year-old Mae West (caricaturing herself) as sex-craving talent agent Letitia Van Allen with many one-liners: (i.e., "Well, the end of another busy day. I can't wait till I get back to bed. If that don't work, I'll try to sleep").

Other preposterous scenes included:

  • Myra's bedroom seduction of Rusty's dumb blonde girlfriend Mary Ann Pringle (Farrah Fawcett in her debut film role) who told her: "If only there was some man like you. I'd really fall, I would. But not like this. If only you were a man..."
  • the publicized scene of Myra's skirts-up revelation of her sex-change operation on top of a table
  • a scene of Myra delivering oral sex to Myron, while he fantasized a vision of Mary Ann ("a typical, fun-loving, California sweetheart") providing him with a selection of delectable food treats including a banana


Myra (Raquel Welch)
with Rusty


Myra with Mary Ann
(Farrah Fawcett)



Myra with Myron

Party at Kitty and Stud's (1970) (aka Italian Stallion)

To break into the film-making world, many well-known actors and actresses first starred in marginal films, such as this one, originally an 8 mm porn-stag flick.

23 year-old Sylvester Stallone was featured in this low-grade, crude film (originally rated X, but drastically edited for its retitled re-release on 35 mm) in his first acting role as Stud, for which he was paid $100/day for two days' work.

He followed this role with a bit part in Woody Allen's Bananas (1971) and a half-dozen more films before his breakthrough with Rocky (1976).

Then, this little-known film came to light and was renamed and re-released (heavily-edited without the hard-core penetrative sequences) with a more provocative title in reference to his nicknamed role in the boxing film, The Italian Stallion.

Sex Party at Kitty (Henrietta Holm) and Stud's (Sylvester Stallone)

This adult film displayed two bathing scenes (shower and bath) between Stud and Kitty (Henrietta Holm), bestiality, fellatio, lesbianism, semi-light S&M (belt-whipping), and a prolonged orgy scene on the psychedelic-carpeted floor of the couple's Manhattan apartment.



Girl in Park
(Janet Banzet)




Kitty
(Henrietta Holm)

Performance (1970, UK)

Co-director Nicolas Roeg's gender-bending film (his directorial debut film) was criticized as sleazy and worthless for its homoerotic violence, explicit sex and nudity when first released. The dark, psychedelic and violent avante-garde psychological melodrama was about the blurring of sexual identities.

It was a wild and drug-filled psychedelic, originally an X-rated cult film kept out of circulation for two years after production until edited down.

The opening title credits sequence was disjointed and disorienting: views of a screeching Lockheed fighter jet in the air, a black Mercedes driving down a country highway, and two naked heterosexual bodies making love ("confirmed bachelor" and East London hit-man gangster Chas Devlin (James Fox) and cabaret nightclub singer Dana (Ann Sidney)).

Opening Title Credits Sequence

The non-linear film starred Stones' singer Mick Jagger as Turner - a reclusive, androgynous (described later as "a man, male and female man") washed-up hippie ex-pop-star in a decaying London (Notting Hill) mansion with his two groupie lovemates:

  • Pherber (Anita Pallenberg), a poly-amorous blonde junkie girlfriend
  • Lucy (small-breasted Michèle Breton), Pherber's young, androgynous French girl lover; later in the film while making love to Chas, she admitted that she was boyish - she had "small titties," was "a bit underdeveloped" and was "skinny like a little boy or something"

In the film's most erotic scene, Pherber lay down on a bed while talking to London hit-man (or 'performer') gangster Chas (James Fox) and stroked/fondled her fur coat covering her otherwise naked crotch. At one point, she injected her bare bottom with what she claimed was Vitamin B-12 (although it was probably heroin).

One of the film's most publicized scenes was the shared menage-a-trois bath scene among them.

The Shared Menage A Trois Bath
Turner, Lucy, & Pherber
Lucy
Pherber & Lucy
Pherber

In a scene of shifting sexual identities, there was the merging of personalities and sexual characteristics by the use of mirrors and costuming. Pherber and Turner cross-dressed Chas up in effeminate clothing (and an androgynous curly wig) to give him a "female feel."

Pherber: "Do you like my physique?...I've got two angles. One male and one female. Just like a triangle, see? Did you notice?... Did you never have a female feel?"

As she asked the question, she mirror-reflected or super-imposed one of her breasts onto Chas' chest - causing Chas to lose his sense of manliness. He objected to her characterization:

Chas: "I feel like a man, a man all the time."
Pherber (reflecting her face onto his): "That's awful. That's what's wrong with you, isn't it?...A man's man's world."

He claimed that he was "normal" and that nothing was wrong with him ("There's nothing wrong with me. I'm normal"). She laughed, and then reflected his face onto hers: ("How do you think Turner feels like, huh?"), but he thought Turner was "weird" and that she was both "weird" and "kinky." She asserted that Turner was "a man, male and female man. He continued to negate what she was saying about him having a female side:

"I said I'm not one of those....You're sick. You... You... You degenerate. You're perverted."

By film's end, there was a merging of the personas of Chas and Turner; the transformation occurred after Chas took out his gun and shot Turner in the head, as Pherber screamed next to him in bed; there was a dramatic bullet's-eye zoom-in shot as the fatal bullet penetrated and tunneled into Turner's brain - the bullet shattered a photograph of Jorge Luis Borges and then emerged into the outside street, where Chas was walking (first seen from a rear view) toward a parked car.

After he had left a note for Pherber ("Gone to Persia - Chas"), Chas entered the back seat of the mob boss' white Rolls Royce, where he was greeted: "Hello, Chas." As the car sped off, a zoom-in through the car window revealed that Chas had been stunningly "transformed" into his doppelganger - Turner.





Pherber (Anita Pallenberg)

Lucy (Michele Breton)



Pherber with Chas




Pornografie in Danemark (1970, W. Germany)

This sexploitation film, directed by co-writer Michael Miller (as Renato Frustratus), had a similar title to Alex de Renzy's milestone film: Censorship in Denmark: A New Approach (1970) (see above).

The low-budget German sex comedy (with some soft-core sex) followed bearded, bespectacled, sweaty-faced German optical salesman Siegfried Maier (Siegfried Zügel) to Copenhagen, where he was shepherded around the capital city by optical assistant Ullah (Miriam Liv) - to a sex porn shop, to the making of a cheap soft-core movie, and to a dance party at a swingers club.

Soft-Core Film-making

In the conclusion, the two were entertained and aroused while viewing a slow-striptease by a dancer - and retreated to a bedroom to strip each other and have non-explicit sex.




Quiet Days in Clichy (1970, Denmark) (aka Stille Dage i Clichy)

This tale of free love, hedonism, and the Bohemian lifestyle was first told in director Jens Jørgen Thorsen's black and white Quiet Days in Clichy (1970, Denmark), with a Country Joe McDonald soundtrack. It was unusual for its numerous on-screen text statements and cartoon-like thought bubbles. It became notorious for charges of obscenity when it was seized by US authorities and viewed as pornography.

[Note: French director Claude Chabrol's sexually-explicit, erotic drama in 1990 was another film adaptation of controversial Bohemian author Henry Miller's biographical novel of the same name. See later entry.]

Paul Valjean starred as balding, middle-aged Joey (a stand-in for Miller), living in the town of Clichy near Paris with his misogynistic, mustached, schoolteacher roommate Carl (Wayne Rodda). The main objective of the two impoverished males in the film was to have as many sexual encounters as possible. In the opening scene, their stoned neighbor the Surrealist (Louise White) flamboyantly offered sex for money (200 francs) to pay her rent ("Whatever you want, I'll do it. If you want me to suck you off, or if you want me to do it old-fashioned, it is all the same to me. My breasts are still firm and exciting"), and she stripped down. In their bathroom, she began scrawling poetry on the wall before Carl jumped on top of her for intercourse, and afterwards wrestled her on the floor.

Meanwhile in Paris, Joey became involved with easygoing Nys (Ulla Koppel) whom he met in a cafe. After she stripped nude and before they had sex in her apartment, he complimented her beauty: "You're beautiful, you're like a Renoir." When they were finished, she asked for money. Although sexually satiated, Joey was now broke but hungry (and experiencing food fantasies), unable to buy food. He imagined that she was dining on his funds.

Joey with Nys (Ulla Koppel)

One of its many almost hard-core sexual encounters was between Carl and another female that he brought home - a well-developed, mentally-deficient young Belgian virgin and pig-tailed runaway named Colette (Elsebeth Reingaard). The young girl claimed to be 17 (but was probably younger). Carl spoke to Joey: "She's a little idiot but look at those tits. I don't believe she's seventeen, but she swears. (He felt her breasts) Pretty ripe for fourteen." She wore a skimpy dress and sucked on lollipops as she did their ironing. While ineptly serving breakfast, she also boiled the coffee and burned the eggs on the stove ("all of her brains are between her legs"- according to Country Joe's soundtrack). Eventually, Colette was located by police and returned to her parents, who didn't press charges.

Later, a trio of others were picked up in Paris for sex - prostitutes from the Cabana jazz night club, including Adrienne (Petronella) and Mara (Avi Sagild). During a bathroom orgy sequence, Joey cavorted with two of the streetwalkers in a bathtub (filled with red wine and soggy bits of long French baguettes).

Joey also became obsessed with a Danish blonde named Christine (Susanne Krage), who was brought back to the flat for sex. Carl bluntly congratulated Joey on his selection: ("She's the best c--t you ever dug up"). At the same time, Carl was about to bed naked Corinne (Anne Kehler) in the next room. When Joey began to make love to Christine, she stopped short: ("I cannot...I'm thinking of my husband"). Joey suggested that Carl take a turn with Christine ("It's your turn now. Why don't you take over here. I'll go check Corinne"), while Joey complained to Corinne about Christine: "She babbling about that husband all the time." But after a few moments, Christine fled from Carl and came running into Joey's arms, and the two couples soon became entangled during love-making, concluding with Christine's accusation as she ran into the hallway from the other three, screaming: "You disgusting, terrible, perverted pigs!" The film ended with the mad laughter of the two men and Corinne.

The Bathtub Orgy Scene
Adrienne (Petronella)






The Surrealist
(Louise White)

Colette
(Elsebeth Reingaard)



Christine
(Susanne Krage)


Corinne
(Anne Kehler)

Sexual Freedom in Denmark (1970)

A second quasi-documentary film from director John Lamb was Sexual Freedom in Denmark (1970), (see another similar film, Pornografie in Danemark (1970, W. Germany above, and Lamb's Sexual Liberty NOW (1971)) although he was credited as M.C. Von Hellen. The film purported to be about Denmark's recent and permissive legalization of pornography.

After playing for over half a year in Manhattan, the controversial film was busted for obscenity, but during the trial, it was ultimately declared legal - due to a ruling that it was protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

A narrator intoned about how Denmark's society had engaged in a "bold experiment" - as images of erotica and nudes were liberally displayed:

"Today, the people of Denmark are trying a bold experiment in sexual freedom. They have exchanged fear and superstition for acceptance and rational knowledge. They have abandoned censorship of erotica for adults. We shall compare the status of sexual knowledge in Denmark today among the ancients and in other modern societies. Since the end of erotic censorship, Danish life goes on, of course, without any spectacular visible change. Perhaps, there is a slight increase of affection and expression, but business continues as usual, and youth here in Copenhagen have the same interests as in every modern city."

The shock-sexploitation movie began with an Adam and Eve segment, then a nude sailing ship cruise and nude volleyball on the beach. Interviewer Olle Lassen (as Himself) questioned individuals on a Saturday afternoon in the Copenhagen area, including a liberated 18 year-old Karen Biller (as Herself) on the street, visited a sex shop (displaying hard-core still images on magazine covers), and engaged in a talk with nude models during a photo-shoot.

One of its main purposes was to serve as an investigative report and survey on the history of erotic art:

"Let us look back to the cradle of civilization, as historians call those fertile and temperate Mediterranean lands. We can obtain valuable lessons in life from ancient architects, philosophers, and mathematicians. In the field of sex too, there are helpful insights to be gained. Many civilizations outside our current European frame of reference have looked upon sex as central in life and religion, and upon human love as necessary and valuable art that needs to be carefully cultivated. In other eras, however, man's achievements have been buried and forgotten while dark ages of ignorance pervailed. The citizens of Denmark decided that open circulation of ideas and information is essential if human sexuality is to be advanced to the same modern level as other sciences."

The discussion continued with a visit to a modern nudist camp, with pool swimming, volleyball, and a nude beauty contest ("A girl who enters such a contest in the raw does have reason to feel that she has competed more honestly than her sisters under their suits").

There were also views of nude body painting at a hippie party (Michelle Angelo and Linda O'Bryant), including literal 'body painting' by slithering around in wet paint on a canvas.

Interviewer Olle Lassen also spoke in Copenhagen to Dorrit Frantzen (as Herself), a 21 year-old Miss Denmark, who was questioned about her sexual attitudes and behaviors.

Visits to topless strip clubs initiated a discussion of more lenient classifications of movies with nude scenes, and the demand for more low-budget "girlie movies" - prompting the narrator to impine:

"By this time, higher court judges were being convinced by the findings of the researchers that enjoyment of erotica is no more anti-social than bird-watching or stamp-collecting. Just as in Denmark, none of the psychologists and psychiatrists in an American survey of thousands reported any case of anti-social sexual behavior in which pornography was a cause."

Before another interview with "star reporter" Lizzie Bundgaard (as Herself), there were closeups of diseased genitals afflicted by VD (syphilis). There was a discussion of sex education in society and samples of various advanced primers on sex and birth control. Diagrams and videos explained the process of human reproduction, culminating with two live births (one a breech birth or bottom first), and then a detailed visual explanation of the sexual changes and organs of both sexes during puberty. A closeup of an ejaculation into a glass test tube was included with its counterpart - a female orgasm.

For the concluding twenty minutes of the film, the mechanics of sexual intercourse were demonstrated with a heterosexual couple (slightly blurred on the edges of the frame). The narrator stressed the importance of pre-sexual foreplay, stimulation and arousal techniques before bringing the sexual organs together during coitus.

The basic positions for intercourse included face-to-face (missionary), woman-on-top, and rear-entry. Included were techniques for increasing sexual muscle tension. The sex film ended with a clinical description and demonstration of birth control methods.

The last brief sequence was of another naked couple (the female was well-endowed Swedish model Uschi Digard, a frequent adult film actor in Russ Meyer's films) in a garden setting.



















Song of the Loon (1970)

The first gay-friendly independent film with homoerotic content was this gay frontier romance (about free love among the Loon tribe) with some nudity. It was based upon Richard Amory's (pseudonym Richard Love) fictional and erotic Loon Trilogy, Soon of the Loon (1966), followed by Song of Aaron (1967), and Listen, the Loon Sings (1968).

The coming-of-age story about tormented gay love was set in 1870's California.

It was released with the tagline:

"Curious? Have you ever wondered about a love story between two men?"

It provided audiences with one of its first serious representations of homosexuality, although the film was campy and amateurish. One scene was fairly well-acted, an earnest fireside talk between Ephraim MacIver (Morgan Royce) and Cyrus Wheelwright (John Iverson) followed by a tender kiss.



Campfire Scene

Woodstock (1970) (subtitled 3 Days of Peace & Music)

Michael Wadleigh's over 3-hour documentary of the 1969 concert in upper-state NY was originally rated R for brief images of nudity (mostly skinny-dipping, various instances of toplessness or nudity, and love-making in the bushes) - and also for rampant drug use and profanity among young concert-goers.

Skinny-Dipping at Woodstock

One female who was interviewed noted as others were swimming naked:

"I think the body is beautiful. I think skinny-dipping is just beautiful, if you want to do it, if you can do it, but some people can't because their environment made them, you know, feel that it's wrong, even though they know in their subconscious that it's right, you know, it's good and normal and natural, but we've been made to feel that it's wrong..."

The film won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Zabriskie Point (1970)

This was Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni's first US film, a controversial anti-Establishment work and embarrassing financial disaster for MGM - a simplistic view of a failing America.

The film's two disconnected young people were portrayed by newcomers

  • Mark Frechette (as Mark), a student radical wanted as a suspect for killing a policeman during a student strike-riot and for hijacking a small airplane
  • Daria Halprin (as Daria), the pot-smoking secretary/lover of LA real estate tycoon/attorney Mr. Lee Allen (Rod Taylor) who was helping to build the Sunnydunes development in the desert

Toward its conclusion, there was a celebrated hallucinatory, dust-swirling fantasy lovemaking orgy sequence in the desert sand dunes (at the lowest point in the United States - Zabriskie Point).

The Orgy in the Desert at Zabriskie Point

The couple parked at an overlook and then ran down into a dry river-bed area, where they began making love -- during which other couples (and trios) magically appeared creating a massive 'love-in.'

Afterwards, Mark remarked: "I always knew it'd be like this." She asked: "Us?" but he replied: "The desert."




Mark (Mark Frechette)
and Daria (Daria Halprin)

Sex in Cinematic History
History Overview | Reference Intro | Pre-1920s | 1920-26 | 1927-29 | 1930-1931 | 1932 | 1933 | 1934-37 | 1938-39
1940-44 | 1945-49 | 1950-54 | 1955-56 | 1957-59 | 1960-61 | 1962-63 | 1964 | 1965-66 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969

1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989
1990 | 1991 | 1992-1 | 1992-2 | 1993 | 1994-1 | 1994-2 | 1995-1 | 1995-2 | 1996-1 | 1996-2 | 1997-1 | 1997-2 | 1998-1 | 1998-2 | 1999-1 | 1999-2
2000-1 | 2000-2 | 2001-1 | 2001-2 | 2002-1 | 2002-2 | 2003-1 | 2003-2 | 2004-1 | 2004-2 | 2005-1 | 2005-2 | 2006-1 | 2006-2
2007-1 | 2007-2 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016

Index to All Decades, Years and Features


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